By Dan Ferguson
Arsenal 4 CSKA 1
Slightly larger attendance tonight but not considerable. It cannot be that surprising. Anyway, let’s see what happens.
Mkhitaryan on 3 minutes picked out beautifully but pulls a half volley wide. A lovely build up that should have resulted in a shot on target.
Equally, CSKA’s Musa has certainly got the beating of Koscielny and Mustafi. Warning signs are there.
On 6 Arsenal tear through the Russians and score but Ramsey given offside somewhat incorrectly.
On 9 minutes Arsenal have another go at tearing the Russians apart and this time Ramsey scores and is onside. A very good offensive start for the Gunners.
CSKA look clunky at the back but have definitely got zip in their front 6.
Koscielny gives away a clumsy free kick just outside the D on 14 and that mistake really shows up his misreading. Arsenal pay the price with a brilliantly taken free kick by Golovin flies over the wall to make it 1-1. Awful defending by three Arsenal defenders in the build-up to the foul.
Musa took the defence for a walk on 15 and should have made it 2-1 to the Russian side. Arsenal have lost their momentum very quickly since they scored. Now reverting to type for the season.
A very open first 20 minutes.
On 21 Ozil muddled his way through the CSKA defence and a clumsy challenge brings him down. Penalty for sure. Lacazette steps up and scores well.
2-1 Arsenal. Game on. Will Arsenal build or fold?
On 29 Ramsey scores a beautiful goal.
The ball is dinked over the defence by Ozil and Ramsey receives the cross on his back heel with his back to goal and lobs the keeper with a volley. Wow! That was special.
Arsenal’s forward movement is so fluid tonight. Lacazette is making all the right runs. Arsenal continue to slice them apart and on 34 Lacazette scores a beauty. Awful defending by CSKA but it is 4-1 to Arsenal.
Ozil has set up everything tonight! Two players on a hat-trick.
Still some signs of a weak Arsenal defence, or possibly not being protected enough by the midfield. Still end-to-end and Arsenal could score a lot more goals in this game.
One of the team’s best offensive first halves in a long time.
First attack of the 2nd half invites Ozil to produce another sensational pass to Mkhitaryan and it really should be 5! Arsenal being too pretty? Never!
On 51 Arsenal cut them to ribbons again and Ramsey really should have hit the target. Arsenal are just so fluid in the final third, mainly because Ozil is on fire.
On 54 it’s a turkey shoot. But Arsenal miss again!
CSKA have to be better than this next week or they will be trounced. The Russian defence is despondent and if this is the best they have, then they aren’t going to get better. Arsenal will keep creating.
On 60 Mkhitaryan has to leave the pitch after banging knees with another player. He looks very uncomfortable. Replaced by Iwobi to jeers and applause, (for Iwobi it must be said).
The second half doesn’t have the fire of the first, but both sides are still poking and prodding, (and missing).
Ozil’s beautiful skill, followed by a wasteful long ball results in a disallowed goal for CSKA. It shows that there really cannot be much room for error, regardless of the score.
On 66 Arsenal miss a glorious chance for 5. More ribbons and a wonderful final ball from Ozil, only for Iwobi to pass with a one on one. It was a very poor decision by young Alex, and is the reason he has lost favour with Wenger. He has to learn to score more.
I really don’t know how many expected goals Ozil has set up tonight. I’d guess over a million.
Ozil to Monreal on 70. Should have been about 10-1 now.
Lacazette disappointed to come off on 74 but he must be protected for next week. He has played really well tonight. Truly pleased for him.
Ramsey hits the post on 77 out of nothing. This is getting silly now. We need a 5th to kill the tie and Arsenal is straining to break out of second gear.
On 83 another good build up and cross arrives at Welbeck’s thigh with on the keeper to beat. He wasn’t going to score even though it was harder to miss. Welbeck and Iwobi could do with a loan I think.
On 84 Ramsey had his 6th good chance of the game. Not easy and wrong choice but how this game is still 4-1 beggars belief.
Mustafi’s blistering burst and cross on 87 is serving no one well. Wenger losing his rag as Mustafi gets bored and goes all Forrest Gump.
Game peters out and the score remains like the same. That can be the only disappointment of the game, as long as Mkhitaryan is OK. If we were offered 4-1 before the game we’d all be very happy.
Arsenal played very well and Ozil was given so much space. He must have loved it, though will point the finger at some of the finishing. If CSKA are this open next week, no matter how hostile the game might be, I cannot see Arsenal collapsing.
Well done boys!